Triathlete Michael Taylor prepares for Paralympic debut in Tokyo after just four years in the sport

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A man who was inspired by watching the Rio games as he recovered from a leg amputation is set to make his Paralymic debut.

Triathlete Michael Taylor is preparing to compete at the Paralympic games - just four years after taking to the sport.

The 25-year-old, from Barnstaple in Devon, began training after getting a place on a talent ID programme in 2017 and is about to compete at the Tokyo games.

He now lives in Bristol and trains at the University of Bath, where he is also studying medicine.

Michael is a two time National Champion and this year won gold and two silvers in the World Triathlon Para Series, booking his place at the Paralympics.

Michael says triathlon has helped with his body confidence. Credit: ITV West Country

He was on the verge of qualification last year, before the pandemic ripped up the racing calendar.

Michael says it has all happened quicker than he expected.

"Last year I took a year to hopefully try to get to it and that was my goal from then. But up until that point it was in the back of my head like 'that's something I could do, but might not be until Paris if I really try'," he said.

Michael had his left leg amputated in 2016 after an infection in his ankle destroyed the joint and was at risk of spreading further.

Triathlon has helped him overcome the psychological trauma of losing his leg.

"You kind of just feel a bit rubbish about yourself, because you can't do those things you used to do.

"Doing something like triathlon, which is a bit more of a challenge, makes you feel good.

"It's nice to do things with my friends, like riding or swimming, and not feel any different than before."

Michael took inspiration from watching the Rio Paralympics in 2016 while recovering from surgery.

His friends and family told him he would be a Paralympian one day though he was not so sure. Now they've been proved right.